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After World War II, my dad, Lawrence Ward learned watch repair and became a registered chronograph technician. He then began doing watch repair work for several stores in southeastern Idaho.

In 1950 he began Ward's Jewelers in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Leasing a section of Fawson's Music Store for his location. I remember, as a small child, going to the store and helping to clean the glass showcases for dad and mom as well as listening to records in the many listening booths at Fawson's Music Store.

Tiring of the harsh winters in Idaho, dad started looking for other locations. In February of 1955 he found an ad in a jewelers magazine for a store that was for sale in Fallbrook, California. We drove the winding and narrow highways (there were no freeways) from Idaho through the deserts to Fallbrook - that was one of the longest, coldest, trips I can remember. We left during a blizzard and dad had to have a head bolt heater put in the car to keep the engine from freezing overnights. It was wonderful to arrive in the warm of southern California. Dad made an agreement with Mr. Thomas of Thomas' Jewelers in Fallbrook and we returned to Idaho to close things out up there.

In May of 1955, with snow still on the ground we left Idaho, another long drive as far as an 8-year-old was concerned, arriving in Fallbrook during the Pioneer Days Festival we began our new life here. Our first location was 110 South Main, in Fallbrook.

Dad had been taking courses from the Gemological Institute of America, and became a Graduate Gemologist, later through the American Gem Society he was rated as a Certified Gemologist, Registered Jeweler, and we had a fully Accredited Gem Laboratory in the store.

In 1959 we moved to a larger location at 113 North Main, in Fallbrook, with the expanded shop and display areas we began more of our own manufacturing. I was gradually being given more responsibility, learning to clean and polish jewelry and beginning to learn to engrave. When I was in Potter Junior High, I purchased my first engraving machine by working for a penny a letter and putting the rest toward the cost of the machine. Later, I purchased a larger machine by doing the same thing. And, I made my spending money at a penny a letter.

I attended Fallbrook Union High School, class of 1965; I'm sure many of my friends thought that I never had any fun because I went to work at the store nearly every afternoon. But during those years, I participated on the rifle team (yes, we had guns at school), the color guard (raising the Flag daily at school and presenting the Flag before games and during Avocado Festival parades). I put many miles on a unicycle up and down Fallbrook's streets (it took me quite a while to earn the money for that unicycle, I mowed many yards for 50-cents a job). I bought my first motorcycle in 1964 by selling a coin from my collection, I don't ride much anymore but I have put lots of miles on my bikes.

After high school I went to Palomar College. To earn some extra spending money, a friend and I started a street sweeping business in downtown Fallbrook. Each morning before we left for school we would sweep both sides (including the gutters) of the two blocks of merchants downtown. I think we only got 50-cents or a dollar a week from each merchant, but that kept us in gas (25-cents a gallon) so we could get to school, and…. I continued working at the store as my time would allow.

During my time at Palomar College, I became "The PsychOdelic Maniac", my light show company traveled around the Southern California area with such memorable bands as the THE GROOP, THE PLASTIC PEOPLE and THE RAMPANT AVOCADO. Liquid projection was just about the messiest thing I've ever done. I also, began learning about sound reinforcement while working with the bands. I participated on the Palomar College Archery Team, during their championship years of 1966-67.

I then began my time away from Fallbrook, as I moved to San Diego to attend San Diego State, my reputation in lights and sound preceded me. And I was recruited by Campus Life to help make a moving-light theater marquee style sign as well as running sound for their concerts. My senior year at San Diego State, I received my "Greetings" from the Selective Service, I then spent 3-years in the Army.

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I was in Vietnam during 1970, working with Computer Systems Command, as a supply and maintenance computer specialist. In 1971-72 I was at Fort Hood, TX working as a company clerk and battalion legal clerk. During 1970, my parents again moved the store to a larger location at 1034 South Main Street in Fallbrook.

I returned to Fallbrook in 1972 and went to work again at the jewelry store with my parents. During this time I again became involved with music - this time a Christian group called Any Day Now, they had heard of my experience with sound reinforcement and asked for my help. We toured the West Coast and played at the Worlds Fair in Spokane, Washington. It was in this group that I met my, then future, wife Karen.

During the mid '70s, I was working at the jewelry store during the week and touring with Any Day Now on weekends. I was learning more designing and repair as well as management skills.

In 1978, I married Karen Wise. Our love of our Lord Jesus Christ and His music soon had us again actively involved in a music ministry program. At the jewelry store we were again beginning to expand - we took over two more spaces in our building and totally remodeled the store, enlarging our shop area as well as our display area. I began taking courses from the Gemological Institute of America at this time.

During the 1980s, I became more involved with the running of the jewelry store, and at the same time I spent many weekends and nights actively involved in the recording of eleven albums with Calvary Chapel of Fallbrook. I have been engineering the sound/recording at Calvary Chapel of Fallbrook since 1979 and have recently helped them in the design and installation of new systems for their new sanctuary.

During the 70s and 80s, my brother David, worked with us at the jewelry store as a designer/repairman, while he was here we purchased a lot of new shop equipment. I had to learn a lot of new things when he married and moved out of the area.

In 1997 I took over the store, my dad wanted to retire and do some traveling.  Shortly after he purchased a motorhome my mother had a severe stroke and wasn't able to travel.  She was the one who had wanted to keep coming to the store and it wound up the other way around as she became homebound, so he came daily to help with the watch repair.

The summer of 2000 brought about a new chapter for Ward's Jewelers, the property where we had been located at for the previous 30 years had been sold and all of the tenants there including Ward's Jewelers lost their leases. We found a new location in the community of Bonsall (about 6 miles south of our previous location) and spent the summer remodeling for a new store at the RiverVillage Shopping Center in Bonsall, and the new store opened just before Christmas.

Six months later we endured more changes as dad suddenly passed away, and I added taking care of my mother to my life.  

2005 -- 
The move to Bonsall has been good for our business, in spite of the things of the economy and the difference in the world since 9/11/2001. 

Karen's life has also been turned into a caregiver as her dad developed Alzheimer's and her mom's health isn't good.

The past several years I have managed to find a bit of time to do some website work for our church and a couple of other commercial accounts.  Recently, due to many e-mail requests from all around the world, I have been re-mastering for CD, from the original tapes, the eleven albums we recorded nearly 25-years ago.  

2008 --
More change as we have now lost all of our parents, the things we thought were in order -weren't, so it seem like we spent all of our time moving things and doing paperwork.

2010 --
Times continue to change and with the economy in turmoil the past couple of years, the decision was finally made to close the retail storefront that we have had for so many years. But, we are not going out of business.

  • Our inventory will become available on our website.
  • I will continue providing jewelry design and repair services on an appointment basis.
  • I will continue providing watch repair and watch battery service:  quality watch repair will be by appointment and I am working with a few locations to become drop off points for watch battery service.

Our tradition as quality jewelers continues!  But, now I'll get a little bit of home time.

George Ward

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Fallbrook & Bonsall, CA

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